(Reuters) - Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout were celebrating Major League Baseball’s highest individual honors on Thursday, in a twin triumph that made Los Angeles the home of the game’s two most valuable players.
“Wow, that’s amazing,” Los Angeles Dodgers ace Kershaw said after being named the National League’s Most Valuable Player - the first pitcher to claim the award since Bob Gibson of the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals. “I’m blown away.”
“I never really anticipated this. It’s obviously a huge honor,” the 26-year-old told a conference call.
Centerfielder Trout, 23, was a unanimous winner of the American League MVP Award after finishing runner-up the last two years to Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera.
“It means a lot and you get emotional a little bit,” said Trout, who was the fifth youngest player to win the award courtesy of 36 homers, 111 RBIs and outstanding defense for the AL West champions.
Kershaw, who was 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA that made him the first player to register the lowest ERA in the majors for four successive years, was the unanimous winner of the Cy Young award as the league’s top pitcher on Wednesday.
While both Los Angeles players were thrilled to win their awards, both are still aiming for baseball’s grand prize — a World Series title.
The Angels and NL West champion Dodgers both lost in the Divisional Series of the playoffs, with Kershaw squandering leads late in his two starts against the Cardinals.
“You just try to celebrate accomplishments,” he said when the playoff disappointment was raised.
“A lot of teammates have told me over the course of playing that when you win something ... you celebrate it, because this game is hard.
“It doesn’t take the sting away from what happened in the playoffs but you can’t ever lose an opportunity to celebrate because this may very well never happen again.”
Kershaw said LA hopes for a ‘Freeway Series’ between the Dodgers and Angels could well be in the offing.
“The Angels are a great team just like we were a great team.
“I know both of our seasons ended sooner than we would have expected but I think in the future we’re both going to be contending for that World Series, year in/year out.”
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Greg Stutchbury